MEN'S HOCKEY: Beavers hang tough, clinch 1st win on Ross Armour's OT goal

·4 min read

Oct. 17—GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Shots on goal don't always tell the whole story.

If they did, No. 7 North Dakota unquestionably dominated the No. 20 Bemidji State men's hockey team on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. The Fighting Hawks laced 34 shots on goal at Beavers goaltender Michael Carr, while BSU finished with 17 attempts thrust toward former netminder Zach Driscoll.

But that wasn't the story. The story was Bemidji State getting two early goals, adding another late in the first and fighting through fierce and unrelenting UND attacks to emerge with a 4-3 overtime win, BSU's first of the season.

Ross Armour received a breakaway chance less than a minute into 3-on-3 overtime and took full advantage, lacing a shot past Driscoll to deliver the Beavers their first victory.

The game got off to a sweeping start when the Beavers (1-3, 0-0 CCHA) netted two goals in the first two minutes. Kyle Looft snuck one in 47 seconds into the contest off assists from Alex Ierullo and Lukas Sillinger, and Tyler Kirkup followed at 1:28 to give BSU an instant 2-0 lead.

But North Dakota (3-1, 0-0 NCHC) had a quick response, as Ashton Calder roped a shot past Carr to slice the deficit in half. After several minutes of back-and-forth action, Bemidji State created a late chance when Alex Adams slid a puck to Kirkup in front of the goal, and Kirkup placed it past Driscoll in a scramble situation to give the Beavers a 3-1 lead.

The scoring declined in the second period, but not the level of action. Riese Gaber pushed a loose puck just past Carr at 6:11 to halve the Fighting Hawks' deficit.

From there, BSU frantically kept UND from tying the score, but it wasn't easy. The Beavers had to kill two penalties and part of a third, with the first two coming nearly back-to-back at 13:30 at 15:43. But they managed to do it, and their reward was a 3-2 lead at the intermission.

The third period was pure chaos. After successfully killing the remainder of the carried-over penalty, Bemidji State hung on for dear life, as North Dakota consistently attacked Carr and the Beavers' defense. The Fighting Hawks fought as though they were on the power play for most of the period despite being at even strength.

Jake Sanderson finally put a shot somewhere Carr couldn't touch it late in the period, but it bounced harmlessly out onto open ice after pelting the piping. That wasn't the end of it, though, as UND kept up the hawkish attack and Calder scored his second to equalize with 48 seconds left in regulation.

But Armour gave Bemidji State a quick, cathartic response in overtime, sending his teammates into a well earned frenzy and rewarding them for their defensive execution and intensity throughout the first three periods.

Carr started his second game of the year and turned away 31 North Dakota shots one night after Gavin Enright controlled the crease for the Beavers on Friday.

Enright and Carr have now split BSU's four games in half, with Carr starting the opener last week against Minnesota Duluth and Enright following him the next day. The Beavers' defense won the blocked shots battle 25-11.

Driscoll returned to the pipes for UND and stopped 13 shots.

After earning its first triumph, Bemidji State hits the road again for a two-game series with Northern Michigan on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, in Marquette, Mich.

No. 20 Bemidji State 4, No. 7 North Dakota 3 (OT)

BSU 3 0 0 1 — 4

UND 1 1 1 0 — 3

First period — 1, BSU GOAL, Looft (Ierullo, O. Sillinger), 0:47; 2, BSU GOAL, Kirkup (unassisted), 1:28; 3, UND GOAL, Calder (Ford, Jandric), 3:17; 4, BSU GOAL, Kirkup (Adams, L. Sillinger), 17:39.

Second period — 5, UND GOAL, Gaber (Jamernik, Moore), 6:11.

Third period — 6, UND GOAL, Calder (Schmaltz, Ford), 19:12, EA.

Overtime — 7, BSU GOAL, Armour (Ierullo), 0:53, 3v3.

Saves — Carr (BSU) 31; Driscoll (UND) 13.

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